Fribble Monday, December 13, 1999

Fourteen Months Later...

By Anne Duncan (Anne.Duncan@compaq.com)

In my Fribble of September 15, 1998, I wrote about my discovery of and conversion to Fooldom.

Here's what's happened, fourteen months later:

  • I've consolidated my IRAs and brokerage account to one online discount broker. Boy, has this made things easier.

  • Moved all my 401(k) funds to the closest thing to an index fund available. Next year, it'll all go to the real index fund when that choice becomes effective.

  • Mailed my IRA check on January 1, so it was available for immediate investment.

  • Set up monthly automatic withdrawals from my checking account to my brokerage account. After a couple of months, I didn't even notice that the money wasn't there.

  • Made additional contributions to the brokerage account as cash accumulates in my money market account. It's amazing how much you can save and invest when you don't have huge credit card bills anymore!

  • Bought and use financial tracking software -- I now have almost two years of data and I know where it goes. I still may spend as much eating out, but at least I know what and where I'm spending.

  • Used Workshop screens to invest my IRA.

  • Used Workshop screens to invest my brokerage account. (I've detailed the screens and results on the Workshop message board.)

  • Stopped paying for unnecessary life insurance -- this saves money.

  • Found and bought necessary long-term disability insurance -- this costs money.

  • Demonstrated to my son, that both investing for the long term and the Workshop screens work. I told him what, when, and why I was buying and selling, and pointed him to Fool.com. To share my success, for his 25th birthday I gave him:

  • The two shares of Union Carbide that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday (cost basis of $99.91!) plus the shares that resulted from the DRiP that all the dividends went back into. He got 55 shares -- and I don't have to pay capital gains!

  • some of the AOL that I bought last year as part of a Workshop screen that was "overvalued" and has split twice since -- again, I don't have to pay the gains (the per share basis was $24.25!).

  • Hurray! Today, my son called asking advice about screens for $10K in his IRA -- this after five years of his emotional buying/selling and losing.

Overall, I feel terrific about my understanding and management of my finances, after years of neglect. It's possible to see that retirement is financially possible! I've learned a lot about investing and companies I'd never heard of! And, all because of great work and sharing here at Fooldom.

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